Recent advances in manufacturing methods open the possibility for broader use of metal foams and metal matrix composites (MMCs) for heat exchangers, and these materials can have tailored material properties. Metal foams in particular combine a number of interesting properties from a heat exchanger's point of view. In this paper, the material properties of metal foams and MMCs are surveyed, and the current state of the art is reviewed for heat exchanger applications. Four different applications are considered: liquid-liquid, liquid-gas, and gas-gas heat exchangers and heat sinks. Manufacturing and implementation issues are identified and discussed, and it is concluded that these materials hold promise both for heat exchangers and heat sinks, but that some key issues still need to be solved before broad-scale application is possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes